Impression: Dog House: Not Recommended

80 S. 1st Street, San Jose

At this point, the Tenderloin focus is blown all to hell, so whatever — food reviews. The Dog House is a small joint in downtown San Jose devoted, as the name suggests, to hot dogs. They have a whole array of dogs, as well as some sides and salads. I had a Classic Dog ($2.95), an order of seasoned curly fries ($2.95), and a soda ($1.75). I was disappointed.

I chose the Classic Dog because it was inexpensive — the higher-end dogs run as much as $5.95 — and because, as with Burger Joint, I think the true quality of a dish like a burger or hot dog is best displayed when you go simple. The Classic Dog, unfortunately, was bland and a little small. I suspect it’s the kind of dog best consumed in bulk, like a White Castle hamburger. I felt, after eating it, like I’d eaten nothing at all. Similarly, the curly fries were underdone and barely seasoned. A coworker got the shoestring onion rings, and they were similarly terrible — cold, and with that off flavor of cooking oil that needs changing.

Now, another coworker opted for the Boss Hog, a bacon-wrapped bratwurst with cheese, BBQ sauce, and the aforementioned onion rings, and pronounced it good. I suspect that the higher-end dogs, which feature more exotic sausages and toppings, may be generally better. Bacon-wrapping alone improves many a sausage. Still, I doubt I will return.